Fighting The Last War

Are you fighting the last war? Are you still bogged down in the last war thinking this is going to save you? It is estimated that over 60% of Fortune 500 companies have outdated perimeter security technology installed and running right now. Studies have shown that one of the most effective ways to combat cyber security attacks is with better awareness and training of the rank and file employees who are actually our first line of defense every day. But as of this, year only about 38% of companies employ any strategy for preparing their employees, let alone a certified and comprehensive training program that is ongoing.

After the allies won The First World War in the bloodiest conflict the world had ever seen. They imposed a series of protections to ensure we did not have another major war, and that Germany would be unable to attack France again. So the French with their huge resources and advanced engineering built what they believed would be the answer to this problem.

The Maginot Line

They built the Maginot Line. This was a series of interlocking fortifications, bunkers, artillery, infantry garrisons with all types of support facilities underground. It was truly impressive. If you were a military leader of the time you would not want to have to try to come across the Maginot Line. But they were still fighting the last war. When the Nazis came into France they had developed a totally different form of warfare. They had updated their technology with combat aircraft and fast moving tanks, with supporting artillery, and coordinated communications between all of them. They had utilized the latest technology of mechanized warfare, and applied it quickly to the battlefield.

There was no line. Or better put the line there was a moving active line of attack. The French were fighting the last war. In WWI it was fought in large systems of trenches and fought to a long term stalemate. This was not the same war.  In the worst case the Germans could just fly over the Maginot Line. It was no contest. The French were defeated in a matter of weeks. Warfare would never be the same. In data security we are dealing with the same issues, only change comes much faster. What took the Germans years to learn and to modify, modern hackers change in the matter of days or hours. They are constantly updating and trying new tactics and new technologies. We have to do the same.

What’s Your Maginot Line?

Are you fighting the last war?  What is your Maginot Line? If you have security technology that is over three years old. There is a good chance that you have built your own costly Maginot Line. If you are using your IT department to handle your data security you are fighting the war of the past. Many company’s only look at perimeter security and not internally. This is a tactic from the past.

The only way to know if you are up to date is to make sure you are auditing your security posture on a regular basis. Conduct confidential and effective penetration testing. And make sure your security professionals and your employees are trained on a regular basis. Because it took the Germans from 1918 to 1939 to change the way war was waged forever with the use of new technologies and tactics.

It takes todays cyber criminals a lot less than that. They utilize the latest technology to not only attack you but also to protect themselves. Can you say the same of your cyber security posture? It is time to move into the present and fight today’s war. It is time to realize what’s needed to make your company secure and do it now. Don’t wait because the bad guys are certainly not waiting.

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